The Big Question: “I Have Tested Positive for HIV. Now What?”

Unfortunately, the medical report just confirmed that you are HIV positive. The world around you seems to be falling apart, your head is spinning badly and there is a blackout in front of your eyes.

The Big Question: “I Have Tested Positive for HIV. Now What?"

The news that you’ve tested positive for HIV can be immensely shocking. But hey! hold on. This is definitely not the end of the world. There is a LOT that can still be done. Even before HIV starts to show any of its monstrous symptoms — you can counter attack it from left, right and center. Cover all possible aspects and areas to fight it.

Here is how you can take it head on!

Get immediate medical care

To evaluate your general health status and immune function, your practitioner will conduct some lab tests and determine if you have any other ongoing illnesses. Your doctor will:

  • Start treatment and prophylaxis if you have any existing infection such as syphilis, Tuberculosis (TB), or hepatitis B; and if there are none as such, he or she will then administer vaccines for the same, as contracting such diseases could be dangerous for people  with suppressed immunity.
  • Prescribe antiviral therapy and protease inhibitors that can help you prevent or slow the progression of HIV disease.
  • Schedule regular checkups every three to six months. Some individuals might need more frequent checkups when they are starting new antiviral drugs.

Emotional support

Once your physical health is taken care of, concentrate on the emotional aspect. Strong emotional support is pivotal in building good health and a feeling of well-being to address issues of isolation and depression.

Options for emotional support can be:

  • Friends, family, partners, and lovers
  • Other HIV positive people
  • One-on-one counseling
  • Support groups
  • Spiritual inclination also helps to keep your mind at peace
  • Practice and develop a healthy way of living.

A few don’ts to keep in mind

  • Do not have unprotected sex at all. Use a condom before indulging in any type of sexual act, be it vaginal, anal or oral.
  • Do not share needles, for insulin or any other drug; or tattoos
  • Do not share razors
  • Do not breast feed your baby
  • Do not give blood

While this may be difficult to do, it is absolutely imperative and also your moral responsibility that you tell your sex partner about the infection.

Also read, Love, loyalty and HIV, part 1 and part 2 – the story of a couple where one partner tests positive for HIV.

Find out more about providing support to HIV/AIDS patients in this video.